Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Defends Giving People & Entertainment Tonight Interviews as Equally ImportantPresident Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager on Sunday defended Obama’s slew of softball interviews this week even as he hasn’t faced the White House press corps in two months, saying outlets like People magazine and Entertainment Tonight are “equally important.”

“The president was talking to reporters on the ground in Iowa,” Stephanie Cutter said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Do you think that that’s less important than talking to somebody like you?”

Asked when the press corps could expect a formal news conference, Cutter replied: “He’s traveling the country, we’re running for re-election. Iowa is a critical state. We’re going to spend our time talking to media all over this country.”

Asked whether Entertainment Tonight or People are more important than the White House press, Cutter said they have equal value.

“I don’t think that they’re more important, but I think they’re equally important,” she said. “I think that’s where a lot of Americans get their news. And I think the president’s going to continue doing that.”

Cutter said that while Romney may have held two news conferences in the last week, “he’s not being transparent about his own policies and distorting the president’s.”